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Blights of Bestiary 6

Thursday, March 30, 2017

So here's a secret about the text we create for the back cover of our books and the blurbs that go on our website and catalogs. They're usually done at the last minute by a developer who's been working on the product possibly for many months. In my case, that means I get a chance, finally, to play around with some writing of my own, even if it's only for a few paragraphs. When I wrote the blurb for Bestiary 6, I mentioned something called "strangely sentient oozes," because of the new category of ooze I came up with to include in the book. I didn't want to reveal their name or theme yet (that's for this blog post... read on for more!), but I did want to mention them in some way that felt nice to read and fun to write. And so I came up with the phrase "strangely sentient oozes," because I enjoyed the sound of the phrase; its consonance makes you hiss when you read it, which evokes in the mind (in theory) imagery of something slithering and sliding sloppily in subterranean sloughs or sepulchral sewers. See? I wasn't trying to give folks hints as to a new system of calculating intelligence for ooze monsters or trying to make folks deduce the nature of how a primordial ooze might become self-aware. It wasn't a clue as much as it was an attempt at lyricism.

But it was certainly a blast seeing folks try to figure out clues anyway!

So, the time is here to reveal a little more about these strangely sentient oozes. They comprise a new category of ooze called a blight. This is a subtype of ooze, all of which are very intelligent (the dumbest one in the group has an Int of 15), all of which are quite powerful (the CR scores range from CR 13 to CR 19—I can't see any blights coming in future products that are CR 12 or lower, but there's absolutely room for blights above CR 19!), and all of which are linked to a remote, wilderness terrain.

Blights themselves were created eons ago by serpentfolk druids who worshiped the raw savagery of nature, and when they discovered a way to infuse the terrain itself with malevolence and sentience to recruit the land as yet another minion against their enemies, the first blights were born. But when they performed the ritual, it backfired... not only did the land liquefy and awaken, but so did their culture and the druids themselves. These druids, their sacred grounds, and the surrounding terrain transformed into a protoplasmic monstrosity that viewed all civilization (yes, including serpentfolk civilization) as the enemy. The first blight split itself apart into countless blots of slimy hatred and infested several different regions. The nature of those regions further shaped and forged these first blights' powers. The least powerful of them settled in the relatively lifeless deserts, where they developed powers of drawing moisture out of surrounding life and cursing their domains with extreme temperatures. The most powerful seeped into the deep caverns in the heart of the serpentfolk domain, absorbing radioactive ores and developing the power to petrify at a touch. Others settled in forests or mountains, sewers or swamps, and even in the frozen tundra. All possess spell-like abilities, a favored terrain, the ability to curse that terrain, and a tendency to rejuvenate if you don't uncurse their realm after defeating them. Blights are also tailor-made to serve as "boss" monsters for wilderness-themed adventures, for while they detest other creatures that have intellects, they understand that such creatures make great agents and soldiers in their campaigns against civilization. That they save their agents for last in their murderous plans is an uncomfortable truth that all who serve blights eventually learn.

Although there's seven blights in all, I'm only gonna show off three of them, but that should be enough to get an idea of their shared physical traits and themes!

Illustrations by Damien Mammoliti and Andrew Hou

James Jacobs
Creative Director

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Andrew Hou Bestiary 6 Damien Mammoliti Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
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3 people marked this as a favorite.

THis concept is super cool, even for someone like me who isnt usually a big fan of oozes.

Silver Crusade

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

... Dood.


12 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber Subscriber

I somehow thought of Hexus from the Fern Gully movie when reading this...


Awesome "ecology like" preview. Thanks Mr. Jacobs!

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

MMCJawa wrote:
I somehow thought of Hexus from the Fern Gully movie when reading this...

Definitely!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

Welp, I was already gonna buy the stinkin' book, but, uh... wow.

Nice creepy concept!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I like the background story. Wish they were a little bit less powerful so I could use them with lower level pcs. Guess it's easy enough to downgrade them. :)


Mr. Jacobs,

Are all these seven variations/breeds of blights (Cave, forest, tundra, mountain, swamp, sewer and desert) present in Bestiary 6? That would indeed cover all the spots from CR 13-19, so I'm assuming they are.


Well, I can certainly stick my foot in my mouth for saying that I didn't think much else interesting could be done with the ooze type. I love the concept, and the art is super cool and creepy.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Charter Superscriber

@The Gold Sovereign: he says seven are in so seems likely.

On the topic at hand: This is awesome. I will adapt this and use it at some point. Cause these are just awesome.


Indeed, jedi8187. Thanks for pointing it out! ;)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

8 people marked this as a favorite.
The Gold Sovereign wrote:

Mr. Jacobs,

Are all these seven variations/breeds of blights (Cave, forest, tundra, mountain, swamp, sewer and desert) present in Bestiary 6? That would indeed cover all the spots from CR 13-19, so I'm assuming they are.

All seven variations of blights I've listed are in the book, yes.

And while I hear folks who are disappointed they're not lower CR... the whole point of the blight category was to not only fill the higher CR gap that oozes have traditionally had a hard time filling, but to create an entire category of ooze to serve as support for more high CR oozes in the future. Low CR oozes have had and always will have plenty of support.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

For the record, I was debating whether or not I would picking this one up. I figured I'd just wait for a need to arise and then pick up the PDF. This blog post just sold me on it.

Nice post, good sir. Looking forward to it.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

15 people marked this as a favorite.

One of the things I'd always felt, and working on Bestiary 6 proved it to me, is that there's not a ceiling for an RPG system as far as "too many monster books" is concerned.

Which makes sense. We humans have been making up monsters from the very start of being human. I don't think a few years of RPG design will dry that well up.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

2 people marked this as a favorite.
James Jacobs wrote:
that there's not a ceiling for an RPG system as far as "too many monster books" is concerned.

It isn't so much as, "too many monster books" as much as, "do I really need it?" This blog post changed that answer to, "Yes. Yes I really do."


5 people marked this as a favorite.

There is no such things as "too many monsters". That sentence simply contradicts itself.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
James Jacobs wrote:

One of the things I'd always felt, and working on Bestiary 6 proved it to me, is that there's not a ceiling for an RPG system as far as "too many monster books" is concerned.

Which makes sense. We humans have been making up monsters from the very start of being human. I don't think a few years of RPG design will dry that well up.

I'm so glad to see "Creative Director" written next to your name, Mr. Jacobs.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber Subscriber

Liking the tundra blight!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Ok those look totally awesome! I can't wait to see this book!


Looks rather cool.

Dark Archive

Oh man, I love these new monsters, more support for oozes!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber Subscriber

Neat! I can't wait to read more about them!


I'm sure there might be other cool illustrations for these blights, but that Forest Blight has a really terrifying appearance. Just imagine it rushing toward you from tree to tree, while it viciously tries to grab you with its claws... =O

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Looking good, evil blobs!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I can honestly say I don't recall ever having seen arboreal blob monsters before.

Dark Archive

Will there be a dark matter-themed blight for starfinder? Imagine what it could do...


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I really want to use the sewer blight in an urban campaign.

I want to use a bunch of blights.

I'm not really disappointed in their CR, it's perfectly appropriate. But it means I won't able to use them in my upcoming campaign (most likely), since I'm only planning on hitting level 12 maybe. And they are not fit to be the final boss here. But I will use them at some point.


jedi8187 wrote:

I really want to use the sewer blight in an urban campaign.

I want to use a bunch of blights.

I'm not really disappointed in their CR, it's perfectly appropriate. But it means I won't able to use them in my upcoming campaign (most likely), since I'm only planning on hitting level 12 maybe. And they are not fit to be the final boss here. But I will use them at some point.

This is more or less my situation as well. I think altering them to reduce their CR or giving the pcs a blight bane artifact might be a solution. So not a big deal.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

Aaaaaaaaaaaah!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Companion Subscriber

I hope this doesn't mean that blights will be the only high CR oozes in future bestiaries.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:
I hope this doesn't mean that blights will be the only high CR oozes in future bestiaries.

I don't think you have to worry about that. I am sure if they find a good idea for a high level ooze that doesn't mesh with blights, we will get them.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

8 people marked this as a favorite.
Dragon78 wrote:
I hope this doesn't mean that blights will be the only high CR oozes in future bestiaries.

I don't know why you'd make that assumption. I never said "The only way to make a high CR ooze is to make it a blight." You need look at the shoggoth from Bestiary 1 to see proof of that.

In addition to the blights, there are 7 other oozes in Bestiary 6. One of those is CR 1/2 and one is CR 2. All of the other five are part of "operation tough ooze" and include two CR 12 oozes, a CR 14 ooze, a CR 20 ooze, and a CR 29 ooze.

Which, for folks who have been paying attention, might not be as big of a surprise after all! ;-P


Oozes. Why did it have to be oozes...

(I'm joking in but in a good way!)

Dark Archive

Ooh, Blights. With this and Wilderness Adventures I'll finally be able to do a Mononoke/Howl/Spirited Away type adventure. A quest to slay the Blights of the world? Ancient foes and ancient allies? Encroaching Blight on cities to spur a variety of player classes? I think I have the start of a campaign.


James Jacobs wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
I hope this doesn't mean that blights will be the only high CR oozes in future bestiaries.

I don't know why you'd make that assumption. I never said "The only way to make a high CR ooze is to make it a blight." You need look at the shoggoth from Bestiary 1 to see proof of that.

In addition to the blights, there are 7 other oozes in Bestiary 6. One of those is CR 1/2 and one is CR 2. All of the other five are part of "operation tough ooze" and include two CR 12 oozes, a CR 14 ooze, a CR 20 ooze, and a CR 29 ooze.

Which, for folks who have been paying attention, might not be as big of a surprise after all! ;-P

I'm guessing the CR 29 is a massive creature. =)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Companion Subscriber

Yes the CR29 ooze must be massive and possibly belong to a category of massive creatures that are awesome.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Too many monsters? As long as I have dice and a character sheet, there will never be enough monsters.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

It's too bad the Blights all have a high CR range, they seem like a really great addition to the monsters we use. An intelligent blob is truly terrifying (and fun for the GM). The game is mainly played in the level 1-7 range, it would be a shame if they didn't show in this range.

Maybe lower CR Blights in the future, CR 4-10?


Jason S wrote:

It's too bad the Blights all have a high CR range, they seem like a really great addition to the monsters we use. An intelligent blob is truly terrifying (and fun for the GM). The game is mainly played in the level 1-7 range, it would be a shame if they didn't show in this range.

Maybe lower CR Blights in the future, CR 4-10?

They've already said the whole point of them was as an opportunity for more high CR oozes and that the lowest would probably be a CR 12.


Indeed... Mr. Jacobs has said it at least three times. The blights where created so we have "end boss" like oozes.

Dragon78 wrote:
Yes the CR29 ooze must be massive and possibly belong to a category of massive creatures that are awesome.

Although we don't have a clue of what type of creature it might be. Right? ;D

Now, if that really is the case... WOW! This thing is as challenging as King Mogaru. Impressive.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I love the Blight idea, particularly the CR range. Seems great to me. CR29 ooze = Kaiju right!

Scarab Sages

Paizo Superscriber

CR29 ooze vs CR25 Tarrasque.
Place your bets now.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
MMCJawa wrote:
I somehow thought of Hexus from the Fern Gully movie when reading this...

Ever notice it is the bad guys that always get the coolest songs in kids movies?


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

"Exterminate!"

I know they don't hover around in tin cans, but for some reason I heard Daleks in my head as I read this blog! Love it! Intelligent, hateful oozes doing their best to destroy civilization?! Delightful. I was getting very weary of the demi-god/horseman/demon lord/etc. talk and beginning to wonder "What else is in there?"! Thank you for this.

"Exterrrrrminate!"

To quote my favorite Doctor "Run!"(Eccleston)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Companion Subscriber

Wow, 14 oozes and all but two are CR12+.

I take it all blights are evil aligned?


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I am not looking forward to being killed by all new monsters!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

A CR29 ooze?? Well hello there, Juiblex!

Seriously these new oozes sound like they make perfect minions/servitors/worshipers for old Jubby. He's always been such a forgotten demon lord.

I love the story about the creation of the blights. Normally it's the wizards and alchemists who take the Frankenstein route with dire consequences. It's delightful to see that druids can be monster-making boneheads too.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Companion Subscriber

I am sure that the CR29 ooze has the kaiju subtype;)

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:
I am sure that the CR29 ooze has the kaiju subtype;)

Hmmm...

Sovereign Court

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Rysky wrote:
Hmmm...

Seems like more of a plant Kaiju. That being said, I'd love to see a Pathfinder version of Biollante - she would be perfect for the Valashmai. ^_^

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